TV Upfronts: Meet the Mega-Producers
J.J. Abrams, Chuck Lorre and Bill Lawrence will now each have four shows on the air.
With the broadcast networks ordering more than 40 dramas and comedies to series, top executives across Hollywood worked the phones calling scores of writer-producers with news of their future. For some, it meant going back to the drawing board, while for others, it meant packing for New York and heading to the upfronts. And for a select few, the phone rang twice -- with a small handful of writers and producers learning that not one but two of their shows were moving forward.
Here's a look at the 2013-14 season's biggest winners -- those who had two (or more) scripted shows picked up to series for 2013-14 and joined a group of prolific producers with multiple shows on the air (looking at you, Chuck Lorre, Shonda Rhimes, Seth MacFarlane and Ryan Murphy).
The Revolution and Person of Interest producer's Bad Robot banner went 2-for-2 this season, earning orders for NBC's Believe and Fox's Almost Human.
The film producer's Davis Entertainment scored its first small-screen projects this season in NBC dramas The Blacklist and Ironside.
Lee Eisenberg, Gene Stupnitsky
The Bad Teacher screenwriters scored two series orders: ABC's Trophy Wife and CBS' adaptation of their Cameron Diaz feature, the latter of which received a post-upfront midseason order.
The Homeland producer is reuniting with Kiefer Sutherland for Fox's limited series 24: Live Another Day and also landed a pickup from TNT for his Sean Bean drama Legends, while CBS passed on Anatomy of Violence. (And he still has pilot Tyrant set up at FX.)
Kaplan's Kapital Entertainment production company (ABC's The Neighbors) landed comedies Back in the Game and Friends With Better Lives on CBS' schedule.
The Cougar Town co-creator's phone lit up this month as all three of his pilots -- NBC's Undateable, Fox's Surviving Jack and TBS' Ground Floor were picked up.
The Vampire Diaries showrunner has series on three nights of the week come fall on the CW with spinoff The Originals anchoring Tuesdays and The Tomorrow People following Arrow, which Plec exec produces alongside that show's co-creator, Greg Berlanti.
In addition to exec producing TNT's Legends, Semel also saw NBC's Ironside and CBS' Intelligence get the greenlight.
The ER alum has two shows set for ABC's fall schedule in Sunday soap Betrayal and Tuesday lottery entry Lucky 7.
These nine join other mega-producers whose freshman shows become their second (or third, or even fourth) shows on the small screen, including Berlanti (Tomorrow People), Sean Hayes (Sean Saves the World), Jason Katims (Parenthood), Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (Once Upon a Time in Wonderland), Chuck Lorre (Mom), Seth MacFarlane (Dads), Mike Schur (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and Dick Wolf (Chicago PD), among countless other executive producers.
Worth noting: Of the four James Burrows-directed pilots, three went to series: Sean Saves the World, Friends With Better Lives and The Millers (CBS passed on its Tad Quill comedy).
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